FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't whether I got it free or NOT!

Amazon

Friday, December 28, 2012

Civility Works!


  
After a recent visit to the Pittsburgh area, I was once again delighted with the friendliness of the community.  The folks working in the stores and malls we patronized were exceptional in making us feel glad we patronized said businesses.  It wasn’t that they were obsequious, it was that they seemed genuinely friendly.  

I live in a suburb of Philadelphia.   It seems the closer I get to Philly the less civility I find.   This isn’t a blanket condemnation but more of an observation based on experience.   Our suburban area is friendly but not nearly as friendly as I find the Pittsburgh area when I visit.  

The civility makes for a more pleasant environment but….it also increases sales!  We bought more, partially because the people selling to us seemed to be genuinely interested in what we wanted.   That should give you food for thought.  Not only is civility more pleasant, it can be more profitable! 




If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Corel Paint Shop Pro X5



This seems like a very capable program.   Installation was a bit tedious.   They have a 27 digit serial number on FaceFilter Studio 2 which came with the package.   It didn’t seem to matter what I put in, the installer didn’t like it.   It kept telling me there were no Is or Os in the serial number.   I never inputted any I, I did put in Os which I then changed to 0 but to no avail so I have no idea whether FaceFilter and the other programs on the second CD are any good.  Somehow it doesn’t seem that hard to either use a shorter serial number or avoid zeros and ones due to their similarity to I and O.   Of course they could always have a slash through the zero to clearly identify it as a zero.   Doesn’t seem like rocket science.   One has to wonder too about a 27 digit serial number, really!   It may be great software but I won’t know.

The program itself seems relatively intuitive.   I have been using programs similar to this for over 30 years so if I can’t start to, at least, delve into it without using a tutorial I’m disappointed.   It forces you to register before you can even look at it.  That strikes me that someone at Corel is still living in the Word Perfect days of yesteryear.   That and a huge service pack auto downloaded as soon as I closed the package.   I have to wonder what that fixed.  

On the surface the software looks capable.   I find some of their antics a bit out dated but Corel has always danced to a different drummer.   I will check back later when I find out if it holds up to the claims on the box.  
 


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Equity by La Crosse 30330 Digital Alarm Clock with Night Vision Technology


Due to restricted vision at night (I can't sleep in my glasses.) I find it highly annoying when I can't see a clock. My two fold up for travel clocks have no back lighting. Since I am a firm fan of marital bliss, I avoid turning lights on at night, particularly any near the bed. The normal back lighting on this is more than sufficient to see in the dark. Even more, if you hit the snooze button, you get a blazing light (only seems like that in the dark) that will illuminate your nightstand but not much further. My only regret is that they don't have one that has a cover that folds over the buttons to make it easier to pack. I really like this little clock. BTW if you think I'm some sort of pollyanna reviewer, check some of my other reviews. I call them as I see them and believe me not everything gets five stars.  Wish it was made in the good old USA.

  • Battery-powered digital alarm clock; equipped with Night Vision for unobtrusive green-lit display
  • Light blue plastic casing; LCD features 1-1/5-inch high black digits
  • Integrated motion sensor activates momentary backlight for nighttime time checking; ascending alarm with 4-minute snooze
  • Requires separate purchase of 3 AA batteries
  • Measures 4-3/4 inches wide by 3-3/4 inches deep by 2-2/5 inches high; made in China
 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Smith & Wesson CH0016 Bullseye Knife


I'm not a knife guy.  I read a lot of reviews by guys that appear to have money to burn on buying knives and a large closet to keep them in.  I always carry a small pocket knife due to a severe lack of finger nails.  This blade is substanially bigger than my fingar nails.  During the recent Sandy debacle I was trying to hold up a 15' evergreen with a rope looped around it.  I needed to cut the rope while continuing to keep the tree from blowing over in the driving rain. I was able to pull this knife out of my jeans due to the very nice clip which kept it accessible.  Then I was able to get it open with one hand while still keeping the *&%)# tree from pulling me over.  The blade holds a great edge and two short strokes the rope was cut, I was able to tie the tree off and get out of the rain and wind.  So a larger knife is handy, this is a good one at a great price.  Now if they make one that is one quarter the weight I might be able to clip it to something besides jeans.  I recommend the knife.

           
Blade length: 3 3/8"; Razor Edge.Overall length: 8". Closed length: 4 5/8".Steel: Black Teflon Coated Stainless Steel.Handle: Anodized black aluminum with a textured soft insert for superior grip. Dual Thumb Studs.Carry System: Pocket clip and lanyard hole.


Product Features

·                     3.3" blade, 4.6" handle
·                     400 Series stainless steel
·                     Thumb-stud on blade for one-handed opening
·                     Aluminum handle
·                     4.6 ouces

 


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Panasonic ES-Sl41-W Shaver


Panasonic ES-Sl41-W Shaver, Milano Men's Rechargeable with Nanotech Blades, 3-Blade Arc 3 Wet-Dry, White

I got this slick little razor to review.   It is the first electric I have used in years.  It can be rinsed clean and used in the shower.  Not being a shower shaver that selling point is moot with me.   I was pleased with the ergonomics of it.  It felt like a large blade shaver and not an unwieldy electric razor.

I got a decent shave but not a great shave.   The literature states you need to shave with it for a week to get the best results.  Apparently you have to train your beard.  I have visions of “sit up, beg, roll over” which are more an indication of a demented sense of humor than a clear concise review. 

I liked the razor and think it did a good job. 

From the vendor:
Panasonic's Men's Wet/Dry Electric Cordless Shavers are loaded with smart features. The ES-SL41-W electric shaver has three sharp blades, a multi-fit arc foil and wet/dry cordless operation. The wet/dry shaver allows you the choice of either a wet shave at home or a quick, dry shave while on-the-go - either way provides you with the same smooth, clean shave that you need. The ES-SL41-W men's electric shaver features Panasonic exclusive water shutter technology, which allows water to flow freely through the shaver. This feature quickly cleans the electric razor and easily removes hair and debris, without having to remove the foil.
3-Blade Cutting System
Three Nanotech blades provide a fast, smooth and close shave.
Wet/Dry Washable
Enjoy the convenience of dry operation or use with foam or gel for a pampering, silky-smooth shave.
Water Shutters for Easy Shaver Maintenance
Switch open water shutters to allow water to flow freely through the unit. Shutters allow for an easy, quick cleaning of the inner blades without having to remove the outer foil.
Multi-fit Arc Foil
Follows the contours of your face for efficient coverage and maximum comfort.
Nanotech Blades
30-degree inner blades featuring nanotechnology, cut the hair at its base for a close shave.
Pop-up Trimmer
The pop-up trimmer is great for grooming your moustache or sideburns. Just pop up when ready to use and tuck away when you're finished.
Carrying Holder
Convenient carrying holder for storage or travel use. Also protects power button from accidentally switching on the razor.


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Leviton 47611-GT4 10/100Mbps 4-Port Internet Gateway by Leviton


 

This little four port switch integrated right into my network.  I didn’t read any directions,  I plugged it in, put a cat5 cable in the WAN port, hooked up my laptop and bingo, it was there.   I must say that is so refreshing, considering the number of supposedly plug and play devices I have looked at lately that were anything but plug and play. 

The device comes with a rack mount bracket that can be removed.   I left it on  because it gave it enough height so I could situate it behind my KVM switch and still see the lights.   This is a nice little switch.

·                     Connects to a Category 5e Voice and Data Module with Category 5 or Category 5e patch cords
·                     Cascade additional switches or hubs from any LAN port with auto-detect uplink, designed for up to 253 connections
·                     UPnP (universal plug-and-play) allows automatic discovery and configuration of the Gateway
·                     Built-in NAT firewall protects networks from outside observation and provides secure communication for network users
·                     Customizes web access and filters unwanted sites with URL blocking feature
From the Manufacturer:
Leviton's 10/100Mbps 4-Port Internet Gateway allows multiple users to utilize a single, secure, high-speed broadband (DSL or cable) Internet connection, and it creates a private network for home, small office or school environments. 10/100Mbps 4-Port Internet Gateway.
Product Description:
High-Speed 4-port 10/100 Mbps switch with ethernet router, for DSL cable and more, Share one broadband Internet connection among multiple computers, share information, share the net and play games. Built-In firewall protects your data from hackers; customize web access to filter unwanted site with URL blocking feature. Power adapter and removable bracket for use with other applications included.


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FREE R.J. McDonnell's eBook Rock & Rip-Off


R.J. McDonnell's


 Rock & Roll Rip-Off, named 2010 Mystery/Thriller of the Year by Premier Book Awards, is free 12/4/12 through 12/6/12 on Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Rip-Off-My...

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Friday, November 30, 2012

TP-Link N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router




This router set up beautifully.   Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder but in my eye if it sets up without biting me in the butt I am happy.   This did.

I followed the quick installation guide and surprise, surprise it was actually quick.   My Amazon Fire, my laptop and my phone all attached easily.  The signal was stronger than my current Linksys router.   I have a meter ap on my phone and this puppy was pumping out a much stronger signal.    It has two USB ports that supposedly will allow you to plug in a drive and a printer for sharing.   That is not as simple as the bare bones installation and I will have to update this when I have time to test that.   I did not see any increase in performance on the hard wire end but I don’t have any gigabit network cards in my systems either.

First glance, this installed easily and pumps out a very strong signal.   I recommend it.  


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Thirty Three Days of Christmas eBook GiveAway


The Thirty Three Days of Christmas eBook GiveAway 


Starting the day after Thanksgiving there are thirty three days until Christmas.  Each day I will give away three Kindle eBook for a total of ninety nine in thirty three days.  To win a copy all that is needed is to request a copy by email at wbentrim@hotmail.com or to comment on one of my blogs or website and mention the Big33 and which book you would like.  The daily winner will be chosen by time stamp as to who requested first.  If there are simultaneous time stamps, the winners will be chosen by a random number generator.   If you do win a copy if you would be so kind as to review the book on Amazon I would be appreciative.   Winners will be announced weekly.


The books are in .mobi or pdf, please note which format works for you.  
The  books I currently have on Kindle are:
Ø      The Christmas Knot
Ø      A Quirky Christmas
Ø      The Wicked Good Stepmother
Ø      Hardy Belch And The Bully
Ø      A Big Scare Turns Out Tiny
Ø      Short or Tall Doesn't Matter At All: Dealing With Bullies
Ø      Mommy's Black Eye
  
See details on books at www.bentrim.info

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Entrepreneurs Share and Spread the American Dream



Even in periods of recession, people continue to seek the American dream. Some are filled with hope, but others fall into despair as each goes daily to provide for his or her own needs. The fortunate find their lives filled with abundance, but the less fortunate many remain cold and hungry through the dark nights.

Entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and other professionals are successful and appear to have the best that life offers. Some of the less fortunate attribute their success to luck, and accuse them of not caring for the poor, but they are wrong.

Any less fortunate person needing medical attention can find it in almost every community because doctors and nurses volunteer their time and services. Many attorneys provide pro bono services for those who cannot afford legal fees. Professionals and tradesmen in all fields find time to help their fellow man.

Although busy entrepreneurs spend most of their time planning and overseeing their businesses, they do take time to help those in need. For example, Mark Gonsenhauser who owns Mark Gonsenhauser’s Rug and Carpet Superstore donates used rugs to various charities such as Ronald McDonald House, Hope House, Armed Services YMCA and other charities. The old flooring may be cold with vinyl or basic flooring, but a new, clean rug adds warmth.

The American dream is possible for anyone who will work to achieve it. From its beginning, the United States has allowed immigrants to rise as high as their talents would let them. It doesn’t matter if it is a Chinese-American hero or a man like Mark Gonsenhauser who came to the United States from South Africa with only a suitcase.

History is replete with many examples of people who have accumulated vast fortunes. J.C. Penney recovered from tuberculosis and built a chain of department stores. Andrew Carnegie, the Rockefellers, and many others have achieved the American dream. In addition, while they were building their American dream, they provided jobs so that others shared their dreams.
However, they did more than provide jobs. They remembered their fellow man by sharing the wealth they created by building libraries, hospitals and other facilities that benefited their communities.
These American entrepreneurs have created more wealth than any other entrepreneurs in history. Today, when it is so easy to focus on the difficult times, these entrepreneurs provide great examples of hope and generosity. During this holiday season, we can all use these figures as role models for good and give, just as we receive.
 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Motorola Universal Dual-Charging Portable Power Pack




Like many of us, I have found myself increasingly dependent on my phone.  I get positively paranoid if I forget my phone on my desk.  My palms get sweaty when I find my self evaluating the time left on my phone battery.  I feel the remaining time in excruciating detail as I wait for my life to go black!  Reading his over, I am increasingly despondent on how fixated I have become on cellular reception.  It isn’t just to chit chat, Oh No!, nothing as simple as chit chat.

I want to find the best price on gasoline with GasBuddy.   I want to check on Roethlisberger’s condition.   Arrghh! I want to check the stock market or ball game score and I can’t do any with a DEAD battery.  

There is hope and it isn’t expensive.  This is the perfect item when you find yourself charger-less.   Those of you who have never, ever left your charger someplace you wish you hadn’t may cast the first stone. Otherwise, button up and be aware there is a simple solution.   This little fellow is smaller and thinner than my DroidX and will recharge it while I am using it.   It seems to have double the strength of the battery on the Droid.   For $27.69 at Amazon, you can slip this in your briefcase, jean’s pocket or duct tape it to the back of your phone and have TWICE as long to stay connected.   



Universal and portable, the P793 is a power pack that can simultaneously charge multiple devices, including mobile devices like the iPhone, Bluetooth headsets, and MP3 players. With 1420 mAh capacity, the P793 can provide up to an additional five hours of talk time.



It has a single micro USB connector that will fit many items besides your phone and a standard USB if you have your charging cable.   It charged to full charge in less than two hours.  This would make a great stocking stuffer. 
 
·  Universal Compatibility: Designed to work all brands that charge via USB such as Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, Nokia and more
·  Power On the Go: It’s small and lightweight, yet can provide up to 5 hours of additional talk time
·  CarbonFree: Through an alliance with the Carbonfund.org, Motorola has offset the energy used to manufacture, distribute and use.
·  Included in Motorola red Retail Packaging: Universal Portable Charger, MircoUSB CarbonFreewall charger, user guide, warranty card
·  Product uses plastic materials from discarded water bottles. Product is made from eco-friendly materials - no BFRs or PVCs- and is CarbonFree
 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

IOGEAR's 12-in-1 Pocket Card Reader / Writer



I plugged this into my Win7 system and it was seen and functional in about 60 seconds.   For whatever reason my old reader was incompatible with Win7 so it was nice to have that flexibility of use again.  Of course my machine has a SD card slot that worked just fine until one of those overnight Microsoft auto-updates and now it doesn’t work.  Microsoft states stoutly that it must be some other issue since their auto update couldn’t have done anything damaging.   I know it didn’t hurt the hardware but as far as the driver is concerned there is a problem and I have the most recent driver from ACER.   So I bought this tiny little reader for a whopping $8.00 on Amazon rather than waste any more time trying to fix a MS generated problem. 
Description from IOGears site:
IOGEAR's 12-in-1 Pocket Card Reader / Writer is an ideal solution for hi-speed, bi-directional image and data file transfer between your computer and multimedia devices. Images and data can be downloaded directly to your PC or Mac from your memory cards without using additional adapters. It works with 12 popular memory card formats such as SD, SDHC, microSD, microSDHC, Mini SD, MMC, Memory Stick, and MS Duo. With direct USB 2.0 high-speed file transfer (up to 480Mbps) from memory cards used in your cell phone, MP3 player, or digital camera, you can save time and conserve power on devices. It instantly transfers your slotMusic™ songs to your PC or Mac. No matter where you go, IOGEAR's 12-in-1 Pocket Card Reader / Writer helps you to easily bring your digital images and data with you.
 3-Slot,(Max) Suport memory card
   
• SDHC(32G) / Mini SDHC(4G) / SDXC (64G) / MMC(4G)

• Micro SDHC (8G) / M2 (16G / need adapter)


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Glide Dental Floss Not So Glide-able




Some of my product reviews or recommendations are thinly disguised rants.  I’m afraid this one is less than disguised.  I have used Glide Pro-Health Deep Clean floss for years.  The last three packs I have gotten have had dismal strength.   By strength I mean that it breaks before the cleaning is done.  I end up using 6 or 7 feet of floss because I can only get a couple of teeth before the floss breaks.   I don’t know what happened to this product but the quality has gone down hill in a large way. 

I have switched to Oral-B Complete which is made by the same company, Oral-B. It gets through my teeth without breaking and does a nice job.   Ironically it is cheaper and works better.  Incidentally I got the best price at Giant Supermarket, better than any online store I found. 
 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Steeler Nation, Alive and Well


Image from http://www.steelernation.com/forums/content.php

After a recent visit to Pittsburgh I was once again reminded that the Steeler Nation is a truly vibrant and lively community that encompasses a large chunk of the world that does NOT live in Pittsburgh.  

I happen to sit through the miserable conditions of the Monday night game on November 12th, 2012 at Heinz field.  I can deal with dry and cold or warm and wet but cold, wet and windy was pretty darn uncomfortable.   The Steelers beat Kansas City but it wasn’t pretty but hey, a W is a W.  

The next day driving back to eastern Pennsylvania I ran into two guys from Jersey wearing Steelers gear.   Noting my hat, they asked if I had been to the game.   We commiserated over the lousy weather and expressed concern for Roethlisberger.  Another gentleman stopped to ask if we had been at the game and wondered what the heck happened. 

At another rest stop, the guy pumping gas on the other side of my pump spoke to me.   Again, I had on my Steeler hat, he had on Steeler sweat pants, hat and jersey.   He hailed from Long Island and asked if I had heard anything about Roethlisberger.  We chatted for a minute and then we were on our way.

This is just the most recent of my encounters with other members of my Steeler Nation.   Where ever we are,  there are citizens of the Steeler Nation.   On a golf course in Florida, another twosome noticed my Steeler head covers and suddenly we were buddies.  I walked into a pizzeria in Hilton Head and was overwhelmed with Steeler memorabilia.   Roaming Disneyland prior to a Superbowl, I was greeted with shouts of “one for the thumb” by other passing Steeler Nation citizens, noting I was wearing the gear.  

It is fascinating that people of such diversity can greet each other with such enthusiasm based on their love of a sports team.   Go Steeler Nation!!


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Motorola P4000 Universal Portable Power Pack


No Nifty Blue cord like on the P793.


The P4000 is very similar to the P793.  They both fit the following criteria below.  I could not get the mAh out of Motorola chat to know specifically why the P4000 is considered more “beefy” than the P793.   It is larger, the same size as my DroidX as opposed to the P793 which fits on the screen of the Droid.   The “chat” person said it has greater charging capacity.  Motorola claims you can even charge your tablet with the P4000.   It does NOT come with an AC charger.  You can use your AC phone charger to charge it or the included USB cable.   It will charge your phone much quicker than the P793.   I guess I can’t give it a raving review because I can’t accurately determine how much better it is than the P793.   If it is more than twice as quick or will charge more devices, it may be worth the double and some price tag of $79.99 at Amazon.   Frankly I haven’t seen a huge difference between the two units.   If you need more juice, go with the P4000, otherwise the P793 seems more than adequate.

The rest of this is applicable to both the P793 and the P4000 but if you read my review on the P793, you can stop here.

Like many of us, I have found myself increasingly dependent on my phone.  I get positively paranoid if I forget my phone on my desk.  My palms get sweaty when I find my self evaluating the time left on my phone battery.  I feel the remaining time in excruciating detail as I wait for my life to go black!  Reading his over, I am increasingly despondent on how fixated I have become on cellular reception.  It isn’t just to chit chat, Oh No!, nothing as simple as chit chat.

I want to find the best price on gasoline with GasBuddy.   I want to check on Roethlisberger’s condition.   Arrghh! I want to check the stock market or ball game score and I can’t do any with a DEAD battery.  

There is hope and it isn’t expensive.  This is the perfect item when you find yourself charger-less.   Those of you who have never, ever left your charger someplace you wish you hadn’t may cast the first stone. Otherwise, button up and be aware there is a simple solution.   This little fellow is smaller and thinner than my DroidX and will recharge it while I am using it.   It seems to have double the strength of the battery on the Droid.   For $27.69 at Amazon, you can slip this in your briefcase, jean’s pocket or duct tape it to the back of your phone and have TWICE as long to stay connected.   Motorola P793

Universal and portable, the P793 is a power pack that can simultaneously charge multiple devices, including mobile devices like the iPhone, Bluetooth headsets, and MP3 players. With 1420 mAh capacity, the P793 can provide up to an additional five hours of talk time.

It has a single micro USB connector that will fit many items besides your phone and a standard USB if you have your charging cable.   It charged to full charge in less than two hours.  This would make a great stocking stuffer. 

·  Universal Compatibility: Designed to work all brands that charge via USB such as Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, Nokia and more
·  Power On the Go: It’s small and lightweight, yet can provide up to 5 hours of additional talk time
·  CarbonFree: Through an alliance with the Carbonfund.org, Motorola has offset the energy used to manufacture, distribute and use.
·  Included in Motorola red Retail Packaging: Universal Portable Charger, MircoUSB CarbonFreewall charger, user guide, warranty card
·  Product uses plastic materials from discarded water bottles. Product is made from eco-friendly materials - no BFRs or PVCs- and is CarbonFree
 

If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Move Forward, The Voters Are Watching!



WE ARE WATCHING!

I’m still in my pjs as I write this.   You seldom see me writing about politics or religion but frustration can motivate changes in behavior.   I’m annoyed and cranky!   The election is really not even over and already some &%$#@)(&**  politicians are stating there will be no compromise.  Frankly the Presidential election was moot.   Unless our do nothing Congress can start to compromise and cooperate, nothing will change. 

We are not red and blue, we are all red-white and blue.  Any idiot knows if we run a sack race, we tie two legs together and run in the same direction.  Apparently our Congressional leaders missed the memo, both runners have to go in the same direction or they go in circles and get no where.  

It is up to us, the voters, to get cranky and let our representatives know that doing nothing is not acceptable.  If we can’t break these bozos to the harness then we need a new team.   It doesn’t matter if you like the results of the election, we are all in the same boat and we must get Congress to start pulling the oars in the same direction.  

Bi-partisan should be a compliment not a curse word!


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ravensburger Lighthouse 216 Piece 3D Building Set




This a pretty cool puzzle.   It is more like a Lego set than a puzzle.  The big difference is you can’t build anything besides the lighthouse.  It is more complex than the ball type puzzle that Ravesburger also has.   This puzzle was challenging for my 3 year old puzzle crazy grandson however with help he was able to do it.  The age on the box suggests 10 and up, I think a manually dexterous 8 year old would be fine.   This is a lot more fun than a flat puzzle.  I did receive the puzzle for free for evaluation purposes and absolutely has no bearing on my review.


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

TP-Link N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router


This review is going to be a basic rerun of the TP-Link N750.  I even went to the TP-Link site to try and determine what the difference is between these two routers besides price.   This router was $66 at Amazon and the N750 was $83.00.   Oh, the N600 only has two antennas instead of three.  I emailed the sales department at TP-Link since I wasn’t willing to incur a long distance charge to Australia on my phone.  I will post back here whenever they respond. 

This router set up beautifully.   Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder but in my eye if it sets up without biting me in the butt I am happy.   This did.

I followed the quick installation guide and surprise, surprise it was actually quick.   My Amazon Fire, my laptop and my phone all attached easily.  The signal was stronger than my current Linksys router.   I have a meter ap on my phone and this puppy was pumping out a much stronger signal.    It has two USB ports that supposedly will allow you to plug in a drive and a printer for sharing.   That is not as simple as the bare bones installation and I will have to update this when I have time to test that.   I did not see any increase in performance on the hard wire end but I don’t have any gigabit network cards in my systems either.

First glance, this installed easily and pumps out a very strong signal.   I recommend it. 
 
If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Waterpik Ultra FAILS AGAIN

I recently blogged about a grossly disappointing dental jet, the Interplak Dental Water Jet. It is a delight to post a highly positive review on the Waterpik Ultra. It is by far the best dental jet I have owned. It has a quality feel to it. You can turn it off and on without the thing sliding all over the counter. It has multiple pressure settings and a workable pause control. The piks easily insert and remove. That sounds picayune but the Interplak Dental Water Jet was a major effort to remove or insert the pik. If you are sharing a unit you will want to insert and remove the piks easily. My only criticism of the unit is that I wish they would have included 4 regular water piks instead of two. My compulsive personality would like to have a backup pik for myself and my spouse. This is a five star unit and worth every penny. I got mine at Amazon.  I have linked to it because I think it is a great product and I realize that sometimes my posts seem hypercritical.   This is one that I feel the manufacturer did a great job.

Update 11/4/12: This died yesterday. Why? The water feed hose cracked.  I purchased this March 10,2110.  I thus got approximately two years and seven months of service.  That isn't too bad except that this is the third Waterpik product that failed for the same reason... the hose!  Some how that makes me feel hosed! I can't be the only customer who has complained about the inability to replace the hose on a unit that works fine with the exception of the hole in the hose bathing everything is sight.   A $50.00 item should have a hose that lasts as long as the motor.  If their engineers can't figure out how to attach a higher quality hose then the should make it a consumable.   A consumable with easy installation would suffice.   Either solution would provide increased customer satisfaction rather than promoting a disgruntled blog post.


Friday, November 2, 2012

AppFinity – AppDrive






First BE AWARE this is not a game in and of itself.   This is merely a holder for your iPhone or select Android phones.  It does not do anything by itself.  The box claims there is a free app at the Apple store of Android store.   Since I don’t have an iPhone I have no idea if there is an app at the Apple store.  I did not find any free app at the Google Android Store.   There was one called 2XL MX Offroad that once loaded immediately brought up a screen requesting a $4.99 payment.  Oddly enough I don’t find that FREE.   I uninstalled the app and put the AppDrive back in the box.  Admittedly $4.99 is very inexpensive for a computer game but not so much for a phone app.   This AppDrive retails for $38.00.  I guess if  you have money to burn you might want to try it and maybe iPhones have readily accessible apps but Android certainly does not.   On the bright side the steering wheel has a nice feel to it and the levers that push your phone screen seem well made.  It appears to be very durable but without any apps I can't verify that.  I don’t feel that is enough to give it a positive recommendation. I received this free for evaluation purposes and that had no bearing on my review.


If reviewing a product, it may have been received free of charge. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.
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